Friday, 14 March 2014

Twelve months hence: the second Brisbane Type-in

It’s been a year since I started this blog. On March 14th 2013 I made A Confession to all and sundry that I had become rather obsessed about typewriters. In that post I shared my experience of the first ever Brisbane Type-in. One year on and 31 posts later, I am still rather obsessed with typewriters and I’m going to use this anniversary post to blog about my experience at the second ever Brisbane Type-in.

My story about this year's Brisbane Type-in actually begins the day before it happened. Scott K phoned me up in the afternoon, confirming that he would be eating Mexican food that night with one or more interstate typospharian. One train later and I was soon tucking into some rather limp lettuce (n.b. don’t order salad at Mexican restaurants) in the company of Scott, Natalie, two typewriters and two children. The typewriters belonged to Scott, but the children didn’t belong to any of us. They had come over from another table to see what these cool noisy writing machines were. Us three and the kids all had a great time, staging races to see who could type a line the fastest (first to the margin bell wins), a spelling contest, all sorts of fun stuff and the kids even had two short stories written for them.

Later on in the night, I held a secret impromptu ninja type-in on my front deck. Some of you might call it inviting two friends around for a cup of tea. Others might call it a platform from which to shamelessly boast about my typewriter collection... I call it an impromptu ninja type-in. Because there were typewriters, there was stuff typed and the minimum number of participants for a type-in was satisfied (refer to the comments section of Robert’s Canberra Type-in post for discussion about the necessary prerequisites required before a gathering can be declared a 'type-in').


The next morning I packed the car with 5 typewriters and two chairs. The chairs didn’t fit in the boot and I could only be bothered getting 4 out of the car. Nevertheless, the event was a great one. All sorts of cool and rare typewriters from a tiny Bijou with a Russian keyboard, to a massive, massive war-time issue Hermes Ambassador, to a near mint condition Fox, to Robert’s USB Underwood, which was connected to a laptop. 


Equally cool and rare were the people present, who had made the pilgrimage from far afield as Perth (Steve K), Darwin (Nat Tan), Canberra (Robert Messenger), Kooralbyn (John Lavery) and of course the suburbs of Brisbane (Scott, Rino, Louise and I). Over five hours in that park we yacked on about all sorts of stuff, solving at least half of the problems facing society in this day and age.

All up the day was a roaring success; good weather, a speed-typing contest, fish and chips, story-telling and knowledge sharing. The only slight dampener for the day was the regrettable fact that the half-time entertainment that I had previously advertised; the great Geoff Boycott, had to pull out due to unforeseen circumstances. His exciting new range of stovepipe trousers remains unseen in Australia to date. However, this was perhaps a good thing, as we hadn't quite had time to set up the catwalk for him. 

Prior to setting sail back to the real world, several of us came away with our own copy of “101 Great Typewriters” personally signed by the author himself.

Typewriters eh... what aren't they good for?


  1. Happy blogversary! I hope to read many more years worth.

    Glad you had a great time with the Type-In.

  2. Time flies when you're having typewriter fun. I think that was the quickest 5 hours I ever spent. :)

  3. Great reporting, Steve, rounding out the other posts of the great event with descriptions of the "before-party" gatherings. It is great fun to see a few more pictures of typewriter folks whose blogs I've been reading during my first year of this typewriter obsession. BTW, a big congratulations on your first year of blogging. It's been making enjoyable reading - keep it up!

  4. Thanks guys! Tony: Yes 7 of the 8 of us who lasted the distance at the type-in have blogs of some description and a large part of the enjoyment is putting faces to names and finding out that they're all champions. Steve K: Agreed. The only way to pass 5 hours quicker is to sleep and that's far less enjoyable! Bill: Many thanks, I hope to be blogging for a while yet as well. Definitely part of the enjoyment of collecting.

  5. More great pictures! Surely some Mexican restaurants can do salad right?

    1. I'm sure some do, but I fear it is not their speciality. I have yet to hear the youths of today exclaim: "Hey, lets head down to the Mexican joint for some killer salad!"

  6. Not that I want to fuel your typewriter obsession, but a lot of these things can actually be found at self storage units. And a lot of people don't quite know how much each piece is worth. I'm sure it must be quite exciting to find a different model when you dig into somebody's storage boxes at garage sales, so why not try self storage sales too?

  7. Hi there - could anyone suggest a realistic price to ask for a Hermes Ambassador please which is exactly the same as the one featured here? I have 70 years of stuff to dispose of from my Dads old place and this monster is one such item. Cheers Bob